Creating new Intelligent Cities is a grand plan that should be lauded but what if nobody wants to live in the cities you’ve created? Masdar, Curitiba, and Sogndo are all excellent examples of urban planners looking to create viable, sustainable environments but how do you plan for something as intangible as how a city ‘feels’? New cities are just like new businesses, they need the dynamic individuals, the early-adopters to drive innovation and create an attractive place to live. The cities with the strongest hold on people have long been those with a strong aesthetic dimension.
Think of the world’s global cities: Paris, Tokyo, London, New York, Sydney. These places provoke an emotional attachment, a nostalgic memory or an aesthetic for people around the world. It makes them desirable places to live, regardless of how high the cost of living is. It is these intangible qualities that make them global cities. In a world where talented individuals can pick their place to live, the best aren’t going to settle for generic urban landscapes and bland global tastes. The planned communities of tomorrow have to tailor themselves to the talent that big businesses’ will want to employ.
The same is also true of the urban areas that have existed for hundreds of years. Looking to the future is a healthy exercise. Not just because it provides us with a glimpse of work-in-progress technology. But also because it allows us to see the flaws in our current urban landscape and how these can best be remedied. Companies go bust. Cities rarely do.
People’s strengths are magnified in cities because ideas spread more easily in dense environments. Companies that are located near the geographic centre of their industry are more productive (Silicon Valley, Hollywood, etc) and both wages and skills grow faster. These cities thrive because they are host to quality ideas, not because they build new conference centres.
BRISBANE traffic has been rated the most stressful in the country as a result of poor planning, aggressive drivers and an over-reliance on private cars.
An IBM study of 1556 drivers found 90 per cent of Brisbane motorists felt increasingly stressed by traffic compared with 81 per cent in Adelaide, 78 per cent in Melbourne and 74 per cent in Sydney.
Worldwide, the cities assessed as having the most painful commute, when combined with other factors, were Beijing and Mexico City, followed by Johannesburg, Moscow and New Delhi.
Brisbane ranked 13th, behind Sydney in 10th place.
IBM’s Smarter Transportation Industry expert John Hawkins said Brisbane drivers were in a “very stressed environment”.
“You’ve only got a few main arterials and you’ve got the Port of Brisbane and the airport located off one of them,” Mr Hawkins said.
Source: Fast Company
A manufacturer of auto-tinting windows just nabbed another $10 million in financing. Is this the future of glass?
In the future, those glass windows on your office building might also be able to beat IBM’s Watson at Jeopardy. That’s how smart glass is getting.
The notion of “smart glass” might at first seem a bit excessive. We demand intelligence from our partners, our friends, our colleagues, and lately our phones, but windows are not an entity that seem to necessitate smartness.
There’s a simple reason why smart, or “dynamic,” glass matters, though. It saves energy. When normal old “dumb” windows welcome in the noonday sun, buildings bake. But Soladigm’s electrochromics glass automatically adjusts its tint, helping regulate the temperature of a building and thereby reducing cooling (or heating) costs. The company claims its windows can reduce heating and cooling usage by a quarter. That’s one reason why the company was named a winner of GE’s Ecomagination challenge last year.
Soladigm has competitors, including the Saint-Gobain-backed Sage. And we recently looked at a company, Peer+, that manufactures a different kind of “smart glass”—windows that double as solar panels, generating electricity themselves. Imagine, then, if the two joined forces to make “genius glass” that both saves energy and generates it.
Even the basic driving directions from New York City to IBM Research’s headquarters in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., make the whole thing sound like an arm-twisting inconvenience worthy of the difficulty that the city’s metro region has had in fostering Silicon Valley-style innovation: “Take the Sprain.”
That’d be the Sprain Brook Parkway, a squiggle of highway that reaches up from the northern end of the Bronx into the small towns of Westchester County, which turns into the Taconic Parkway a few minutes before the exit onto Kitchawan Road that leads to IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. It’s a broad structure of black glass fronted by a stone arch worthy of a midcentury ski resort. The surrounding environs: lawns, trees, rolling hills, more trees.
What’s inside: Probably the most impressive tech know-how that the New York region can boast. Most recently, researchers there built the computer capable of defeating the most successful “Jeopardy!” champions in a high-profile round of the answer-and-question game show. But that’s a story for a different day.
IBM Research feels a world away from Manhattan, though it’s only 40 miles from Wall Street—roughly the same distance from downtown San Francisco to Google’s campus in Mountain View, Calif. Changing that perception of distance is just one of the many tasks on the to-do list of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), an organization contracted by the office of Mayor Michael P. Bloomberg to promote growth in New York’s various business sectors. As 2011 has set in, it’s become clear that the NYCEDC’s resolution was tech, tech, and more tech—and not simply ambitions for attracting more engineering talent or building a decently healthy culture of start-ups; they are sweeping moves in the construction of something that can only be called “the digital city.”
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Michael: We give people the option to post anonymously or not. If someone does post, and has a Tumblr site, the post will link to their site, just as all tumblr reblogs do. Thanks and please share your thoughts and ideas on how we can build a planet of smarter cities.
I was in the car with my ten year old sister when she presented me with this great question…
“why are those cross walk signs on all the time? its not like anyone is going to really be out walking around right now.”
I live in Michigan and its the middle of winter and there is a lot of snow on the ground. The sidewalks on all sides of the crosswalk weren’t shoveled and it was clear few people were going to be using that cross walk.
the question I raise is why is it that those cross walk signs have to be on all the time? wouldn’t it make more sense to just have them on when needed?
Maybe a simple solution could be that they only turn on when activated by butten or even sensor?
If action were taken on a federal level this kind of a change could help lower the whole nations electrical bill.
Canton, MI USA
the creation of the subdivision is a disaster to the environment. as urban sprawl happens, the question becomes more prevalent… why build an area where the people only live, but must commute for a long time to get to work, etc.. The typical family relies ever so much on their cars, and there is not as much neighbourhood interaction anymore. We should be building cities that actually have multiple purposes, not just housing.
our cities are so congested, specifically in asia. we do not have proper social infrastructure, it means we do not have enough school, hospital, multiplex, shopping complex, parks in our cities. which is the basic need of a city. these places need big land. it is very hard to get big land at a single place.
if we will not reform that situation then there will houses everywhere and social infrastructure of cities will be more weak. if we protect the vacant place and outside aera of city for these social purposes then not only the present people but also the people who live after that reserved area will benefit.
A device should be developed which will detect fire and will send a phone call and email to fire brigade, central monitoring system(a city call center for managing automatic fires and theft call), neighbors, mobiles of special recipients, personal security etc.